What are your thoughts on the role of salespeople in buyer journeys today?
In this digital-first world people are out there, exploring and looking for information to help solve their problems. Our job as marketers is to find them where they are and to be able to react to them, based on their needs and where they are in their buyer’s journey.
The reality is that human beings are typically going to be involved much later in that journey because salespeople are not needed to engage early on. But in the past that was the only way they could get to the information; now, they can get all the information that they need beforehand. Because of this, they need to create a great customer experience once they engage. They need to collect the information that those buyers are indicating by their behaviour and use that to engage with them. So, I think that there’s a much greater expectation of the value that a salesperson is going to bring at later stages in that journey. To get ahead of this challenge, they really need to be reaching out to buyers based on early signs of digital intent.
How important is it for sales to be immersed in the digital marketing process?
One of the things which has been happening for some time is that the balance of inside versus field sales is shifting. There’s more activity happening inside, which means that sales need to be an extension of the digital engagement that marketing is undertaking. We need to be able to pick up the signs, get all the information and join all the data dots together to get an understanding of what’s really going on out there so that salespeople can engage in a meaningful way. So, I think it is undeniable that sales have to be an extension of that; they need to be enabled digitally, so they can have meaningful conversations.
“Sales need to be an extension of the digital engagement that marketing is undertaking”.
“There’s so much data out there and to be effective, we need to have all of that information captured so that we can have the right conversation with the right person at the right time”.
So today, successful B2B customer acquistion is largely driven through effective management of data and information?
Yes. Sales must get involved at the right point, and their ability to have a great conversation and differentiate their company and customer experience from everyone else’s. The quality of that engagement is based on data, the information they have available. There’s so much data out there and to be effective, we need to have all of that information captured so that we can have the right conversation with the right person at the right time. We also have to recognize that often that conversation is just the first of many and it’s going to trigger activity down the road, so we need to make sure that we’re capturing any additional information we’re getting in a structured form, ideally, so that it can be used to interpret what should happen next.
Taulia is a fintech provider of working capital management solutions headquartered in San Francisco, California. Taulia helps companies access value tied up in their payables, receivables, and inventory. A network of more than 2 million businesses use Taulia’s platform to determine when they want to pay and be paid. Taulia enables its customers to execute their working capital strategies, support their suppliers with early payment, and contribute to building sustainable supply chains. Taulia processes more than $500 billion each year and is trusted by the world’s largest companies, including Airbus, AstraZeneca, and Nissan. In March 2022, Taulia became part of SAP. Taulia operates as an independent company within the SAP Group.